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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

28                                      DE LAET'S ITINERARY.
as the roving and vagabond portion of the population, who used to keep
them In chock, were all disarmed after the mutiny. Complaints are now
frequent of the damage done to the crops; and in some parts of the district
vet more serious injury is occasioned by the increase in the number of
wolves.
The old Customs hedge, now happily abolished, used to run along the whole
length of this road from Jait, seven miles out of Mathuru, to the Gurgdnw
border. Though in every other respect a source of much annoyance to the
people living in its neighbourhood, the watchmen, who patrolled it night and
day, were a graat protection to travellers, and a highway robbery was never
known to takVplace; while on the corresponding road between Mathura and
Agra they were -at one time of frequent occurrence.*
The quantity of sugarcane now grown in this part of the district is very
inconsiderable. The case may have been different in De. Laet's time ; but on
other grounds there seems reason for believing that his descriptions are not
drawn from actual observation, and are therefore not thoroughly trustworthy.
For example, he gives the marches from Agra to Delhi as follows:"From
Agra, the residence of the king, to Rownoctan, twelve coss ; to Bady, a saraey
ten ; to Achbarpore, twelve (this was formerly a considerable town, now it is
only visited by pilgrims, who come on account of many holy Muhammadans
buried here); to Hondle, thirteen coss; to Pulwool, twelve; to Fareedabad, twelve;
to Delhi, ten." !NW, this passage requires much manipulation before it can be
reconciled with established facts, Rownoctan, it may be presumed, would, if
correctly spelt, appear in the form Kaunak-than, meaning " a royal halting-
place," and was probably merely the fashionable appellation, for the time, of
the Hindu village of Rankata, which is still the first stage out of Agra. Bady
or Bad, is a small village on the narrow strip of Bharat-pur territory which so
inconveniently intersects the Agra and Mathura road. There has never been
any same theie; the one intended is the Jamal-pur sarue, some three coss further
on, at the entrance to the civil station. The fact that Mathura has dropt out of
the Itinerary altogether, in favour of such an insignificant little hamlet as B&d,
* This Inland Customs Line, which had no parallel in the world except the great wall of
China, was about 1,200 njilcs in !ength4 from the Tapti to the Indus, and was manned by an
establishment of between 8,000 and 9,000 officers and men. It consisted of a barrier, chiefly in
the form of a thick, thorny hedge, along which were placed at short intervals more than 1,300
guard posts. The cost was about 100,000 per annum, and the revenue realized about a
million sterling; the yearly import ol salt from Kijpntana being about 60,000 tons, of which
on an ^Teiage one-half came from the Bharat-pur State.